Dal Polluted Beyond Imagination: Court Commissioners


Advocates manually de-weeding, more CCTVs to check unabated illegal constructions; HC seeks Govt’s response    

SRINAGAR — Dal Lake, the flagship of Kashmir’s tourism is polluted beyond imagination, the Jammu and Kashmir high court was informed on Wednesday by two vigilance commissioners appointed by it to keep a tap on the dying water body.

The High Court’s division bench directed government to respond to latest report submitted by the court vigilance commissioners——Mohammad Shafi Khan (retired Principal Sessions Judge) and Abdul Hameed Bhat, a former SSP.

They have stated that quality of the water in the Dal Lake is depleting day by day and that illegal constructions were going on inside the  world famous water body.

They laid stress that pollutants in humongous proportions flowing into the Dal lake day by day were depleting the water quality. “Lilipads too have strengthened their existence. Although removed last year they  have surfaced again,” the court commissioners said.

“It would be pertinent to mention here that it has been seen evidently that the de-weeding process undertaken mechanically i.e by the machines/harvesters engaged by the department in this regard shows only timely results as compared to the manually de-weeding process and same is the case in the area that was visited,” they said, adding, “De-weeded last year by machines, the weeds have surfaced again as compared to the manual de-weeding. There are still a lot of weeds in the middle of Dal lake as well the area of Kabutar Khana.”

 The tourists too were found complaining about the same, they said. “The exception to this is probably the front portion of the boulevard in which area the department has deployed persons and comparatively is clear of weeds.” 

They said that during their visit to Nai sadak, on the backside of Dalgate, “the bad condition” of the lake is manifestly found and its worsening look seems to be totally neglected and unattended and that the entire area is “polluted beyond imagination.”

“In a very strange incident on the back side of Nehru Park (Zaika restaurant), it was found out that a person was seen filling the water with soil and weed and the weed was being provided to him  by the LAWDA people.”

The commissioners said that they also saw huge illegal construction under process and apparently seemed commercial just on banks of the water channel. “As soon as we arrived, labourers and alleged violator escaped,” they said, adding, “The DySP accompanying us informed that the undersigned that the construction was number of times demolished and one FIR was lodged against him violator Showkat Ahmed.”   

They further submitted that these kinds of illegal constructions are usually undertaken with the help of the touts who facilitate the violators in ferrying of the material. “It is as such suggested that 2 check points alongwith CCTVs may be directed to be installed immediately, one from Saida Kadal side and one from the side of Ashaibagh bridge, which are the two areas vulnerable with respect to the illegal ferrying of the material,” they said.   On the main road near Saida kadal area where the water channel is being dredged, the mud extracted is proving to be a blessing in disguise for the local land owners as it is the very same extracted mud that is being used to fill the low level and marshy land which then acts as a place for illegal construction and people feel obliged towards LAWDA, they added. 

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